Catch a ride with Uber!

A transportation breakthrough has been made in Chicago and Uber is responsible for this wonderful convienence! Uber is a technology company that has developed a system to provide on-demand rides through a very simple process. Hailing a cab is no longer the only means of quick transportation in Chicago. Uber is a private transportation system that allows anyone to request a ride via the mobile app on an iPhone or Android. A text message will be sent to notify the user that the driver has arrived and it even allows you to track the arrival of your ride. After your ride, the credit card on file is charged and your receipt is emailed detailing your trip.

Uber has gone even further and has designed a wedding package we LOVE! Having to make sure guests arrive to and from the venue can be very stressful; Uber has a solution for that. Guests will receive a special invitation explaining the booking system via smart phone. It will have a personalized invite code guests need to use when booking the ride.

Uber offers a “Sleek BLACK card” that could be perfect in a welcome bag or as a favor and is good for $20 off a first ride. There is also a “give $10 get $10” policy. Every time a guest spends $10 using the invite code, the happy couple gains $10 back in Uber credit. There is also a feature for “rides on the house,” that requires sending an email to an attendee, giving guests the chance to receive $25 off BLACK car or SUV ride.

We love sharing with our brides all the latest information on how to make their special day a little bit easier! The Uber wedding transportation system is a perfect way to help your guests find quick transportation in the busy city of Chicago without having to book too far in advance. If you are interested in Uber fill out the event form at www.uber.com/chicagoevents and someone from their team will contact you. For more information contact Tiricia Frank at: supportchicago@uber.com 

Wedding Crashers!

Everyone thinks about fun ideas that will help make your wedding day a success but most of the time you’re not thinking about the things that can potentially ‘crash’ your Chicago wedding. That is why your favorite Chicago wedding planner has come up with a list of ideas that might seem great at the time but may not have the best outcome.

We want you to have the best wedding day possible so here is our list of WEDDING DON’TS:

1. Pace your drinking. Don’t get drunk before your ceremony begins. Of course, having a drink or two to calm your nerves is okay, but taking shots may be the cause for a not so memorable wedding day.

2. Don’t blow it. Bubbles always sound like a better idea than they are! After the ceremony they become a messy and drippy accessory to a fancy frock …Not only do they have the potential to messing up your formal wear, it causes soap to get all over your hands and personal items.

3. Don’t forget to eat! Make sure to eat a good breakfast in the morning, snack throughout the day, and hydrate! Not eating or hydrating can make you irritable and cranky. Most brides and grooms hardly eat at the reception because they are so excited to mingle with guests. You want to remember your special day as one of the best days of your life, not the hungriest.

4. No playground in sight. Everyone loves watching those little munchkins walk down the aisle as ring bearers and flower girls but come reception time, things can get a little chaotic. If kids are allowed at your wedding, we suggest having a room with a childcare service or having a little box of fun sitting at their seat with coloring books and games to keep them occupied during dinner.

    

5. We love toasts…not drawn out speeches. Not only do ten minute toasts bore your guests but it delays your food service (cold food!) and puts off the dancing even longer. Heartfelt and concise toasts are one of the most memorable and personal parts of a wedding…making it short and sweet is the key to keeping everyone engaged.

6. Too much or too little food. No bride and groom want to send their guests home starving or with a stomach ache. It’s important to find the perfect balance between not serving enough food (dangerous for heavy drinking crowds) and serving too much food (keeping guests off the dance floor). If you serve too many heavy courses, you’re going to slow your guests down on the dance floor, and we want them dancing all night! 

7. Avoid lines. Have enough bathrooms and bars. If things are hard to find – add a few signs so they don’t waste time looking.

8. Open bars should remain open. Having wine service during dinner is one thing, but keeping them open the remainder of the evening until the music ends, will keep guests socializing when they want a break from dancing.

9. Keep the fun in one place. If your venue has an amazing terrace or if your guests are heavy smokers – know that some guests will choose outside. If you want a packed dancefloor, then discourage the outside by at least keeping the bar inside. Put your photobooth near the dancefloor so guests don’t have to leave the fun while they wait in line at the bar.

10. Kick your guests out. Closing time should happen when there are still guests at the party! The best parties don’t end when your guests leave…they end when the time runs out and the party is forced to continue elsewhere.

11. End your night with a bang. That doesn’t mean you need fireworks. Fireworks are an exciting thing to watch but stopping the celebration to bring everyone outside can kill the mood…not to mention they are very expensive, an unnecessary cost and totally dependent on weather. WEDDING DO: End the night with one of your favorite upbeat songs so guests leave feeling great about such an amazing night!

River East Art Center: WEDDING VENUE CLOSING

We are sad to announce the closing of one of our very favorite Chicago wedding venues. River East Art Center will no longer be open for events as of 2014. After nearly 10 years of beautiful Chicago weddings and events it has decided to shut the doors. This means a few things for brides, grooms and Chicago wedding planners. It means one less incredible space to host events and it means many 2014 brides are suddenly searching for a new Chicago venue.

We will be sad to see this great venue close. We are so thrilled to have planned so many incredible weddings here. In 2005 we are so honored to plan the very first event at River East Art Center – watching stairs and windows get placed the week of our party.  We are thrilled to have worked so long with this space and are honored to see them out with one of the last events as well.

If you or someone you know is a bride looking for a new wedding venue … let a Chicago wedding planner guide you into the best option for you. We know which venues can hold your guest count, work with your budget, match your style, and compliment the vendors you’ve already selected. Call your favorite Chicago wedding planner to help you find another perfect fit!

A wedding venue to make you sing!

Ravinia Festival is known to host some of the best summer concerts with amazing live music…but have you ever thought of it for your Chicago wedding? 

Ravinia is a beautiful place to host your Chicago wedding with the floor to ceiling views to the Pavilion, Martin Theatre and all of the wonderful landscape. All weddings are held in the Dining Pavilion in their three spate spaces; PNC Private Dining Room, Park View Room or Mirabelle Room. If you are thinking of having your ceremony there, you can have an al fresco ceremony on the grounds, under a tent or in one of the 3 spaces!

Not only are the grounds yours for the ceremony, but they make a picture perfect place for photos! You won’t need to take a photo tour, when you can walk around Ravinia and get many differnt elements in your photos.

 

When thinking of a date for you wedding, keep in mind that Ravinia Festival only has dates available in the off season due to their peak season performances.

 

This is an up and coming picture perfect Chicago venue! Make sure to keep this great space in mind when planning your Chicago wedding!

 

Turning 40 in 2014!

Are you or someone you know turning 40 this year?

Left/Right Productions is looking for a woman who has a bright personality that is turning 40 in 2014! They want to capture the journey to turning 40 and all the realities of it!

In the months leading up to their 40th birthdays, they will capture the highs, lows, laughter, tears, practical and absurd happenings of their day to day lives. This will be a new real-life series that showcases those daily endeavors in a successful woman’s life, while on the road to leaving her thirties and entering her forties.

If you or someone you know would be the perfect woman to share her story to turning 40, please reach out to Samantha Thornhill at sthornhill@leftright.tv or 212.695.2092!

 

Football For Dinner

What an incredible wedding we celebrated at A New Leaf, an incredibly cozy and unique Chicago wedding venue. The venue lends itself to reception style events which encourages guests to mingle and to enjoy the gardeny and multi-level space. After dinner the upstairs is flipped into the dancing area and the real fun commences. Once in a while you’ll see outdoor areas pull guests away from a hot dance floor …but at Katy & Joe’s wedding we saw something new…and something we never imaged we’d have to deal with at A New Leaf (being such a gardeny and private space.) We had a football frenzy at the wedding reception.

Nearly everyone in the bridal party were Northwestern alums and a majority of the guests were die hard fans. With an epic game of Northwestern vs. Ohio State taking place during dinner and dancing at their wedding – Joe came prepared with an ipad and a hot spot. A bench held the tiny screen and the crowd gathered around … taking breaks from dancing to check on the score and to cheer on their beloved team. We couldn’t help but snap a photo and share. 

Consider this a warning for football fanatic fiances and the danger it may impose to your dancefloor extravaganza. Also, know that dispite a Northwestern loss this wedding was a complete success and the dance floor was full until the very end.

Chicago Park District Permits!

Some of Big City Bride’s favorite Chicago venues are Chicago Park District Venues such as, The Tiffany Celebration Garden, Promontory Point, and Columbus Park Refectory. The Chicago Park District made some new improvements to their permit process, which makes applying for a permit even easier! Your favorite Chicago wedding planners have the latest scoop on how to apply for a Special Event Permit! Just follow the steps below to get your Special Event Permit.

  • The Chicago Park District is allowing more time to plan your event! Before you had to apply by January 1 but now you can apply by November 1 the year prior for all locations. Mark your calendar that applications will be available by 9:00am on November 1!
  • To prepare for the event permit, you must visit this link: www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/permits-and-rentals/ . Between October 25-October 31, 2013 login and add “Permit Application Fee 2014” to your wish list, in order to check out on November 1, 2013.
  • You don’t have to wait in line! The Chicago Park District has moved to  using all electronic submissions! You can just submit your form online without a hassle. All you need to do is purchase the non-refundable $35 permit application fee and you can start filling out Special Event Permit Applications.
  • Prior to your submission, complete the Special Event Permit Application after you have purchased the Permit Application Fee. You’ll need the receipt number from that purchase to complete the Special Event Permit Application.

After you have applied for your permit, it will take up to several weeks for the Chicago Park District to review all permits and determine who gets approved. If you apply early, you have a better chance at being approved but your favorite Chicago wedding planner suggests having a backup plan just in case!

Big City Bride Backstage

 

Well, we’ve never said our job is easy…and we’ve never said it wasn’t fun. Chicago wedding planners have some outrageous challenges thrown at them but when we shine through…really great things can happen. In May we convinced Lionel Richie to surprise our Union Station Chicago wedding. It’s not easy planning for the arrival and sercret performance of such a musical legend. However, it was amazing to have Lionel and his band in Chicago – they were incredibly kind men who absolutely love what they do…and yes…ladies and gentlemen…LIONEL HAS STILL GOT IT! 
 
This past weekend Lionel Richie and the full band made it back to Chicago on their ALL THE HITS, ALL NIGHT LONG Tour! We were so lucky to have our friends invite us upfront for the show. There is nothing like a legend from front row. We danced and loved every minute. There is something so impactful about looking back to see the entire United Center full of fans of all ages. 
 
 

 

 

Then of course we were spoiled a little more with backstage passes. Nothing like an All Area Access pass to make you feel special!  As Chicago fans we didn’t take lightly the novelty of being backstage where Chicago’s great athletes have warmed up for championship after championship. We found our way to the band to have a beer and pretend to be groupies. They were so nice to us…they even took us to the band’s tour bus for a little tour. 

 

 

We don’t mean to brag … we simply mean to be grateful. It was a compltely surreal night and I’m not sure we’d believe it all happened if weren’t for these pictures as proof. How fun to work with friends who support us through the bad times…and love every moment with us through the good times 🙂

 

P.S. thank you Michael, Glenn, and Ben for showing us such a great time!